20 Unique Things to Do in Croatia
The many amazing things to do in Croatia attract countless visitors from all over the world. Above all, the country is known for its breathtakingly beautiful coasts, the countless islands and the many historic sights. But there are also several natural attractions to admire in the backland. Whether it’s Istria, Kvarner Bay or Dalmatia, each region has its own charm, and so there is always something beautiful to discover on a holiday in Croatia. In addition to the world-famous attractions, such as the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Dubrovnik and Split, there are countless other highlights. But what are the best places to visit in Croatia and which excursions should you definitely not miss on any trip?
This article is a comprehensive travel guide for the ultimate best things to do in Croatia. We also show you beautiful pictures and give a lot of useful tips & information that will help you plan your next holiday!
One of the most famous places to see in Croatia is the old town of Split. It is on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is therefore the historical and cultural center of Dalmatia. During a sightseeing tour you can explore the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace with its countless historical buildings and attractions, shop at local markets, enjoy nature in the Marjan Forest Park and stroll along the picturesque promenade by the harbor.
Also the beaches of Split are beautiful and make you want to jump into the cool waters. Perfect if you want to combine sightseeing with swimming by the sea.
One of the most beautiful attractions that nature in Croatia has to offer are the picturesque Plitvice Lakes. It is a national park that can also be found on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is about 1.5 hours from the resort of Zadar. Along 8 beautiful hiking routes, you will find a multitude of huge waterfalls in a wonderful lake landscape. The Plitvice Lakes are always open and appear, whether it’s in spring, autumn, summer or winter, in new splendor.
Tip: If you get there by car and want to stay in the region, you will find some nice accommodations. Another possibility is to book a day trip from all major tourist centers in Croatia e.g. on GetyourGuide.
The most famous place to visit in Croatia is the historic city of Dubrovnik in the south of Dalmatia. Its old town, which is widely known as “the Pearl of the Adriatic”, is one of the most magnificent in the country. It is picturesquely situated by the sea and is surrounded by a mighty city wall from the 16th century. In the car-free city center you can stroll along the large promenade – the Stradun, but also through narrow streets and visit historical attractions, such as the Cathedral of Dubrovnik, the Sponza Palace and the Onofrio Fountain.
Because of the many surrounding beaches, the Dubrovnik region is a popular holiday destination. You can find recommended accommodations here.
Another highlight on our list of the most beautiful things to see in Croatia is the port city of Zadar, the second largest city in Dalmatia. This place is particularly famous for its historic old town, whose history goes back to around 3,000 years. Today, Zadar is considered to be the cultural hot spot of the country. On a stroll through the city you will discover countless interesting attractions. Really worth seeing, and a unique thing in Croatia, is the Zadar Sea Organ, which uses the movement of the sea and the waves to produce music.
The picturesque coastal town of Rovinj is a real highlight among the most beautiful places to visit in the Istria region. This town is one of the most worth seeing places in Croatia and enchants with a magnificent waterfront promenade in Venetian style and a labyrinth of narrow streets that runs past the beautiful historic buildings of the old town. There are also some wonderful beaches and bays on the Riviera that make a holiday in Rovinj just perfect. Recommended accommodations in Rovinj and the surrounding area can be found here.
Pula, on the southern tip of Istria, is another city that is very worth seeing in Croatia. What is particularly spectacular here is the impressive amphitheater, the Pula arena, which in its heyday could hold up to 20,000 visitors. But also in the middle of the old town you can still find numerous historical sites, such as the triumphal arch, the beautiful Temple of Augustus and the Roman Forum. There are also some spectacular natural sites around Pula and many of the most beautiful beaches in Istria.
Kornati National Park
The Kornati National Park is a natural paradise in Dalmatia, which includes an entire island world of 89 islets and reefs. This archipelago stretches along the Croatian coast between the cities of Zadar and Šibenik. In Particular, nature lovers and boat owners appreciate the breathtaking island world, which, due to its unique shape, is often referred to as “the crowns”. From spring on, numerous sailing boats, excursion boats and yachts can be spotted between the individual islands to explore the beautiful national park.
Krka National Park
Another natural wonder in Croatia is the Krka National Park with its breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. Not far from the popular holiday regions of Zadar and Sibenik, it is a popular destination especially for day tourists. Wooden walkways lead through a picturesque river landscape, where you can admire an intact ecosystem and at the end of the hike you can even swim in the large Skradinski Buk waterfall. An experience that you will not forget so soon!
Hvar Old Town
Hvar old town, the island’s capital of Hvar, is a real jewel in the Adriatic region. The highlight of this beautiful coastal city is the Fortica Španjola, the beautiful Spanish fortress from the 13th century. It is situated around 90 meters above the city and offers a picturesque view. On a tour through the old town you will also discover a lot of historical attractions; you can stroll through narrow streets, past impressive churches and a beautiful waterfront.
If you are not on a holiday on Hvar, you can also book a day trip from the mainland.
Golden Horn (Zlatni Rat) – Brac
The Zlatni Rat Beach, better known as the Golden Horn of Brac, is one of the most famous beaches in the country. Due to its spectacular shape of a golden yellow sickle that protrudes 500 meters into the azure sea, it has become a symbol of Croatia. Visitors come from all over the world to marvel at this beautiful natural sight.
Korcula Old Town
The beautiful old town of Korcula is not only the birthplace of the famous sailor Marco Polo, but it is also one of the most beautiful attractions in the Croatian Mediterranean. While strolling through the medieval city, there are numerous interesting attractions to admire. Therefore, Korcula is often called the “little Dubrovnik” of Croatia.
Near the city is the small holiday resort Lumbarda, where you can find some of the most beautiful beaches in Korcula.
Blue Grotto – Bisevo
A day trip to the blue grotto of Biševo is very popular. Impressive are the beautiful blue colors inside the cave and the size of this natural jewel, which is unique in Croatia. On a boat tour, which starts from various holiday regions in the area, you have the opportunity to experience this natural wonder and gaze at the impressive blue sea lights. Popular starting points for a Blue Grotto tour are Split, Hvar Island and Brac Island.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and enchants with numerous things to do, interesting places to visit and many activities. The Mediterranean flair and the hip cultural scene make this city a real insider tip for a city trip to Croatia. The city’s landmark is the beautiful St. Mark’s Church, on the roof of which there is the coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia and a coat of arms of the city of Zagreb.
Tip: Start planning your trip with this fantastic 1-day Zagreb itinerary!
Another highlight of the best things to do in Croatia is a visit to the port city of Trogir in Central Dalmatia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage city and its history goes back to the 3rd century BC. A walk through the medieval old town takes you on a journey through time. You will discover many sights along picturesque little streets, such as pretty little churches and beautiful squares with lovely cafes. Also a visit to the picturesque waterfront and the Kamerlengo fortress is particularly recommended in Trogir.
The beautiful Makarska Riviera is one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Croatia. Over a length of around 50 kilometers you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and a multitude of dreamlike bays with the most breathtaking sea colors. Also worth seeing is Makarska town and the mighty Biokovo Mountains located just behind the coast.
Under no circumstances should you miss the famous Brela Stone. It is located on Punta Rata Beach and, thanks to its unique shape, has become one of the most important landmarks in the region. Beautiful accommodations make a holiday on the Makarska Riviera just perfect.
Another gem on the Croatian Adriatic is the port city of Omis. The former pirate city is famous for its pretty old town, beautiful beaches and the spectacular Cetina Gorge. Also the ascent to the Mirabella fortress is really impressive and a hike to the Starigrad (Fortica) fortress on the summit behind the city is also worthwhile.
Omis is also a popular place to visit in Croatia for all kinds of outdoor fans. The most popular activities here include climbing, hiking, rafting and a spectacular zipline can be found in the high rock walls of the Cetina Gorge.
The picturesque coastal town of Sibenik is one of the most remarkable cities in the country. Particularly the medieval old town is worth visiting here. Due to the unique landscape, it even served as a setting for the successful Game of Thrones series. The most important attraction here is the pompous cathedral of St. James, which is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Interesting are also the several fortress towers over the city, offering a magnificent view of the Sibenik coast.
Biokovo National Park
One of the most spectacular things to do in Croatia is a trip to the nature park of the mighty Biokovo Mountains. Beautifully located on the Makarska Riviera, this natural wonder is an absolute highlight. A 23-kilometer-long panoramic road leads up to the 1,762-meter summit of Sveti Jure, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view. Countless hiking routes in the mountains also guarantee an impressive mountain experience.
Blue Lake & Red Lake – Imotski
The Blue Lake (Modro jezero) and the Red Lake (Crveno jezero) in Imotski, which are still relatively unknown, are some of the most impressive natural sights in Croatia. Both lakes are located in the backland, around 40 km from the Makarska coast. The Blue Lake gets its name from the intense blue tones of the shimmering water. The Red Lake, on the other hand, is named after the red, almost vertical slopes.
Cape Kamenjak Natural Park
The breathtakingly beautiful Cape Kamenjak in Istria is definitely one of the most beautiful natural sites in Croatia. On a coast of around 30 kilometers, there are many beautiful beaches and beautiful small bays in the nature park. Above all, the spectacular cliffs make the nature reserve one of the top sights of Istria.
Many spend their summer holidays near Cape Kamenjak. You will find fantastic accommodations in the popular resorts of Premantura, Medulin or Pula.
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